Grilled Whole Mackerel With Lemon, Oregano, and Olives

Grilling a whole fish sounds daunting, but it’s incredibly simple and requires almost no preparation before cooking it.

This recipe is courtesy of Epicurious.

Grilled Mackerel Flickr MainDirections

Whisk together lemon zest, juice, salt, and pepper. Pour in the olive oil in a stream, whisking until combined well. Whisk in olives and chopped oregano.

With a sharp paring knife, make 1-inch long slits at 2-inch intervals down the middle of the fish, on both sides. Brush the fish all over with vegetable oil, and season with salt and pepper. Season fish cavity with salt and pepper, and fill the cavity with 3 lemon slices and 3 oregano sprigs. Arrange remaining lemon slices and oregano sprigs on top of fish and tie fish closed with kitchen string.

Preheat grill to medium-high heat for cooking. If using a charcoal grill, open the vents on the bottom of the grill before lighting the charcoal.

Grill fish on lightly oiled grill rack, covered only if using gas grill, for 15 minutes. Turn fish over using a metal spatula and tongs, and grill for 15 more minutes, until just cooked through.

Transfer fish to a large serving platter, remove kitchen string, and pour lemon-olive sauce over the top before serving.


Eataly Chicago Hosts a Celebration of Italian Flavors

By LUCIANA SQUADRILLI on November 7, 2014 | Filed in Olive Oil World |

Olives – beside olive oil – are a staple of the Mediterranean diet and appear in many traditional Italian recipes, but they are not often considered as a real “ingredient” and are often ignored by modern, creative cuisine.


Focusing on culinary traditions and innovations was the aim of the lessons recently held at Identità Golose Chicago, the roaming Italian culinary congress hosted for the first time at Eataly’s La Scuola. Italian and American chefs were called in to interpret different Italian ingredients chosen by the event organizers. As founder of Identità Golose, Paolo Marchi pointed out “Italy progresses — it is not only made of pasta and pizza, and it continues to think over its own gastronomic culture. This is why it is important to show the contemporary face of our tradition.” So, after a lesson dedicated to truffles, the Italian chef Davide Oldani (known for his “pop” cuisine at D’O in Cornaredo near Milan) and Cleveland-born Lee Wolen (chef and partner at Boka restaurant in North Halsted Street, Chicago) had to find a way to include olives in their recipes. And they did it gloriously.

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Tilapia with toasted Almonds and Green Olives

Tilapia is the beige of the fish world: inoffensive and ubiquitous. It doesn’t stand a chance against, well, just about every other fish around, but it’s also incredible cheap and fairly adaptable to whatever toppings you’d like to add to it. This explains why I spent far more time worrying about what would go with the fish than I did worrying about the fish itself.


I wanted something dramatic and flavorful, which led to the idea of coating the tilapia in crushed almonds. But I always cringe before starting a recipe where I have to make sure something adheres to fish. Regardless of how careful I am, half the time the coating falls off in the pan, burning the ingredients and leaving the fish exposed. And even when I do succeed, I’ve usually made a mess of the kitchen in the process.

Instead, I took the easy way out and sprinkled on almonds at the end. That way I could focus on making sure they were properly toasted, and not on whether they were sticking to the fish or burning in the pan. This also allowed me to mix in some briny green olives with the almonds, which added even more character to the dish.

I took the easy route with the green beans, too. They’re simmered in boiling water until bright green, drained, and then immediately tossed in a tart Sherry vinaigrette. I liked the vinaigrette so much, I drizzled a bit of it over the whole finished dish.

Get the recipe at